Motor Vehicle Fuel Efficiency

Rolling Back MPG Standards Will Cost Consumers and Hurt Automakers

Redo of Midterm Review Threatens Standards that Save American Families Money at the Pump

Washington, D.C. – “Redoing the midterm review of national fuel economy standards is an egregious act of government waste that could result in the rollback of essential consumer protections,” said Jack Gillis, Consumer Federation of America’s (CFA) Director of Public Affairs and author of The Car Book. “If automakers are allowed to slack off on making cars run more efficiently, Americans will be forced to spend thousands of dollars more on gas, instead of on their families.”

Years of CFA polling has shown that a vast majority of Americans – including Republican, Democrat and even Trump voters – support standards making cars and trucks run on less gas for good reason—it puts hard-earned money back into their pockets and back into the economy.  “Consumers far prefer supporting their families with needed purchases than supporting the oil companies,” said Gillis.

“Less than a year ago, multiple agencies completed the midterm review, which consisted of thousands of hours of research and analysis, evidence gathering for more than a year, an extensive comment period in which all stakeholders, including the auto industry and ourselves, were deeply involved,” said Gillis. “To do this all over again is a waste of taxpayer dollars that could result in them paying even more at the pump.”

Recent CFA research finds that automakers are able to comply with national fuel efficiency targets with 70 percent of the “all-new” 2017 vehicles having a CAFE-compliant trim, compared to 41 percent of the “all-new” 2015 vehicles, and a record-breaking six vehicles are compliant all the way to 2025.  “Even the SUV and light truck category has benefitted from the standards: SUVs and LTs whose fuel economy increased by more than 10% from 2011 to 2016 had 20% more sales than those that didn’t increase as much,” added Gillis.  It’s important to remember that these are the very standards that carmakers, unions, environmentalists and consumer groups agreed to in 2012.

“These standards are doing exactly what they were designed to do, automakers are meeting them and consumers are reaping the benefits right now,” said Gillis. “But Asian automakers are still leading in efficiency. With a global market that is beginning to shun the traditional combustion engine, standards ensure that U.S. car companies remain globally competitive and prevent the need for another government bail-out when gas prices spike again and consumers scramble for high-mileage vehicles.”

Contact: Jack Gillis, 202-737-0766

The Consumer Federation of America is an association of more than 250 non-profit consumer groups that, since 1968, has sought to advance the consumer interest through research, education, and advocacy.